Weekly Performance

Friday, October 25, 2013

iPush - Smart Our TV, Cast Your Fun

No one can do without their smartphones these days. The need to share and broadcast content on devices becomes essential to everyone, hence "Cast" is all the buzz lately.
The answer to linking any of your Android/ iOS devices to your TV and make your TV smarter, is all in a small flashdrive-sized dongle called "iPush".
iPush is basically like an Android 4.0 TV dongle except that it does not run any OS, but a WIFI receiver which transmits images, videos and sound onto any HDMI displays.
The iPush comes with an HDMI extension and a micro-USB cable.
On one-side of the dongle is a button for easy connection.
On one end of the dongle is a standard HDMI plug.
The other end is a micro-USB port for powering up the device.
iPush works with any iOS devices apps that support AirPlay.
iPush also works with any Android devices via a dedicated device app.
iPush also works with devices that support DLNA.
Hence, my Samsung NOTE II casts images and videos seamlessly onto the iPush.

Connecting the iPush
There are 2 ways to connect the iPush to devices.
The first is a WiFi Direct connection to the iPush WiFi signal. Doing so will result in a disconnection from existing wireless network and 3G/4G connection. The method of connection works well when casting content in an external environment without a WiFi network.
The second is connection via the router. Download the app from Google Play store in order to register the device onto the home wireless network. This method of connection makes more sense for home use.

Samsung Link with iPush
Samsung Link is a preinstalled app in all Samsung Android devices.
There is no need to buy an expensive Samsung All Play device to cast images and videos onto any TV.
Through the Samsung Link app, simply click on the icon on the top left hand corner to cast the image to the iPush device.
If you are using a Samsung device, you can also cast images and videos directly from the Gallery by pressing the Screen icon on the left of the Share icon.

AirPlay for iOS
If you have an iOS device connected to the same wireless network, casting contents are easy and seamless as well.
The iPush acts as an AirPlay device.
On any iOS app that support AirPlay, such as the default Photos app, simply click Share icon and select AirPlay.
There are plenty of 3rd party apps that support AirPlay.
My favourite iOS 3rd party video player automatically casts the videos onto the iPush!
No frills!
Casting YouTube from the iPad is almost seamless, except when there are Ads.
Guess Google decided not to perfect this for AirPlay.

With the iPush, I can now throw or cast contents onto my good o' plasma TV. All I need is a HDMI port and a USB port. The iPush is definitely better and easier to use than an Android TV Box, since most of the time, our contents are all in our mobile devices. It is much easier to control with our smartphones rather than fiddling with wireless keyboards or air mouse. The drawback of the iPush is that it does not support mirroring. Note that casting contents is not instantaneous and takes around a second or two to send the image over. Another drawback is the iPush does not support 1080i/p resolutions and only support 720p.
For a S$39.90 device, I got no complains.
Let's Smart Our TV